Police investigating fourth shooting in two days

Police investigating fourth shooting in two days

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign police remain on high alert in the wake of four different instances of gunfire in less than two days on the city's north side that police believe could be gang-related.

As many as six men have been wounded in two of the four shootings — three men on Friday night and three on Saturday night.

The latest shooting occurred at 7:55 p.m. Saturday in the 1200 block of West Bradley Avenue, just three blocks north of where the first shooting was reported about 1:15 p.m. Friday.

Several police officers were combing the area for suspects and collecting evidence.

Police spokeswoman Rene Dunn said preliminary reports were that three men were shot by a man who approached on foot as they were outside. He also fired shots in the air and then ran away.

Two of the men were transported to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana  - one with nonlife-threatening injuries and the other with more serious injuries. However, he was alive and breathing as he was being taken away, Dunn said.

A third man who was hit was not transported to the hospital but was going to seek medical attention on his own, Dunn said.

"This is very serious. We're only lucky some kid has not been killed at this stage. Bullets go through walls and strike people in their homes. We are going to use every resource we have to stop this immediately and incarcerate as many of them as we possibly can," said Champaign Deputy Chief Troy Daniels.

His comments came Saturday afternoon following a report of shots fired about 12:10 p.m. in the 1300 block of North Hickory Street. No one was injured in that shooting which involved four or five men in their late teens or early 20s firing multiple shots from a blue Chrysler 300.

The car was last seen heading west on Arcadia toward Neil Street.

"We are very concerned about the recent acts of gun violence and hope that the community will assist us by either providing information ... or reaching out to any suspects involved in any of these shootings," he said. "We are using all of our resources to locate these suspects and will use every legal means to stop and arrest those involved. We are aware that these are two groups of males involved in a gang dispute."

About 7:30 p.m. Friday, three 19-year-old Champaign men were hit by gunfire as they walked in the 400 block of East Washington Street. The shots came from a passing car that may have been a silver Nissan Murano or Chrysler Pacifica, Daniels said.

They were taken to Carle for treatment of what were described as nonlife-threatening injuries but police would not release their names so that their conditions could be checked.

That shooting came about six hours after another in the area of Mimosa and Alagna drives.

About 1:15 p.m. Friday, police found a red car in the 1100 block of Mimosa Drive with the back seat window on the driver's side blown out. They also found several shell casings from different guns.

They learned from witnesses that those shots may have come from a maroon pickup truck that looks like a 1990s work truck that had filler putty on the side near the bottom, Daniels said. Although two men were taken to the police station and questioned shortly after that shooting, no one was arrested. A second car around the corner in the 900 block of Ada was also hit by gunfire but it was not the apparent target of the shooters, Daniels said.

Daniels said police are working on all of these shootings.

"The quickest way to get all of our resources aimed at you is to pick up a gun and fire in a neighborhood where kids can be hurt," he said, reminding that Crimestoppers will pay "a lot of money, up to $1,000" for information leading to an arrest.

If you have any information regarding who may be responsible for these shootings, call Champaign police at 351-4545 or Champaign County Crimestoppers at 373-8477. Information may also be sent anonymously online at http://www.373tips.com or by cellphone text message by sending CCTIP plus the information to CRIMES (274637).

It was just 11 months ago that a dispute between members of the Gangster Disciples and the Black P Stones in the Garden Hills subdivision resulted in the fatal shooting of an innocent bystander.

Anthony Meads, 21, of Champaign, was convicted last month of the July 4, 2012, murder of Desirae Austin, 20, of Champaign. She was hit with a single bullet as she stood near the intersection of Thornton Drive and Cruising Lane not long after the fireworks display at Parkland College had ended.

Meads is scheduled to be sentenced later this month while co-defendant Treshaun Jake, 19, who listed addresses in both Danville and Urbana, is set to be tried July 8.

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Illini Libertarian wrote on June 08, 2013 at 10:06 pm

All of these gangsters have registered weapons and FOID cards. Don't they know that the concealed carry bill has yet to be signed into law? The police just need to remind them that what they are doing is against the law.

ElmerFudd wrote on June 08, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Our State's Attorney won't prosicute UUW laws anyway.

jdmac44 wrote on June 08, 2013 at 11:06 pm

News-Gazette: Would you please post some kind of map for events such as these?  Or a link to an established map site?  It would be handy to be able to see where it might be dangerous to drive, or if I need to consider new security measures for my house when I read about burglaries, etc.  I don't always know street names off the top of my head, I know Bradley Ave is well know, but not all of these are.  Thanks much.


fortherecord wrote on June 08, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Uhhh, Google the address...  If you've never seen real satellite images prepare to have your mind blown. 

C in Champaign wrote on June 15, 2013 at 7:06 am

Try this. http://spotcrime.com/il/champaign  To see Urbana crime maps, simply swap out Urbana for champaign in the web address. Hope this helps.

annabellissimo wrote on June 09, 2013 at 3:06 am

The Champaign-Urbana communities of all demographics need to help the police as vigorously as they so eagerly attack the police for every action. This area is quickly going the way of other "downstate" communities who are feeling the horrible effects of Chicago and/or Chicago-like thugs and gangsters, as well as plenty of their own "home-grown" bad guys.  I absolutely hate what has happened, what is happening, to once really nice communities - Peoria, Springfield, Rockford, Champaign-Urbana. Degradation of neighborhoods, crime, danger, "no-go" zones, murders - quality of life in all of them is deteriorating (or worse) because of the filthy destruction from people who don't know how to live in a civilized society.  Where's "homeland security" in THIS kind of community terrorism, the kind that people live with every day in many cities - Chicago a nearby case in point, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and on and on!  Much more terrorism in that kind of activity than the kind that the govt. wants us to believe is constant imminent threat. THIS is real and present danger to our actual "homeland"!

Caleb Curtiss wrote on June 09, 2013 at 12:06 pm


When you say "our actual 'homeland'," I’m curious to know whom you refer to. Who is "us" and who is one of "them"? I ask this, because it seems to me that you've drawn some arbitrary lines and made some dubious implications in order to drive home what I believe to be a very simplistic point: WE shouldn't let THEM do this to our community!!!1

This us-versus-them rhetoric completely ignores the fact that, when a pattern of violence arises within a community, you and I (and, yes, the community at large) bear some of the responsibility.

Perhaps it would be more productive to ask why certain neighborhoods have more crime than others. What is the larger community's role in ensuring this sort of thing does not happen? Of course, not all crime is preventable — no matter where you are, human beings do awful things to each other — but is there a way to address some of the structural issues that make Cherry Hills and Garden Hills two very different places to live? I'd like to think so, but when I see the un-nuanced indigination and self-absolution in your comment, I have my doubts. 

Of course, it’s probably best for me to remind myself that a single comment on a single news article represents no more than a single opinion, no matter how ingenuous or insidious that opinion may be. 

serf wrote on June 09, 2013 at 2:06 pm

And...cue the righteous indignation


It's clear the the commenter was referring to the difference in fighting a 'war on terror' abroad as opposed to spending time and money fighting crime in 'the homeland.'  At least that's how I took it.  Don't let me knock you off your soapbox, though.

Caleb Curtiss wrote on June 09, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I'll not condescend you by explaining how that particular false binary is precisely the issue at hand.

serf wrote on June 10, 2013 at 10:06 am


Marti Wilkinson wrote on June 13, 2013 at 7:06 pm

As a homeowner who resides in Garden Hills, I would say that a key difference between the two subdivisions is the ratio of homeowners and renters. As a property owner I have more of an invested interest in my neighborhood, than someone who is simply renting. Plus, some landlords see the houses they own as cash cows. There are property owners who don't care who they rent out their houses to, and Section 8 vouchers is a guarantee that at least two thirds of the rent money will be coming in. That being said, there are a lot of people who live in subsidized housing that don't commit crimes or make a nuisance out of themselves.

I'm pretty lucky that the family that rents out the house next door is pretty careful in selecting tenants. Additionally, they check on the properties and with the residents on a regular basis. My next door neighbor regularly invites his landlord over to hang out, and he is a pretty familiar face. All things considered, the part of Garden Hills that I live in doesn't see a lot of activity. The streets that lay south of the tracks have seen a lot of stuff, and that is where the young lady was murdered last year.


annabellissimo wrote on June 14, 2013 at 3:06 am

To Caleb Curtiss #6:  I can see why you might question my meaning of the term "homeland".  What I meant is exactly what "serf" described. I meant that resources and attention that go to "homeland security" need to encompass social problems like crime and danger in America's communities, serious problems like those in Champaign, Peoria, Danville, and so on and most urgently in larger cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit and Philadelphia, to name a few, with Chicago being the most infamously dangerous and deadly these days. What is "homeland security" and "terrorism"? Is the definition so narrow that it does not include the daily terror, danger and assault experienced by people living in these danger zones or even just passing through them?. I have a lot of mixed reactions to your comments and the implied objection you are making.  I think I understand your points; I wrestle with those points myself. These neighborhoods, towns and cities are all of ours and there should be no "us/them" mindset at all. The problems are all of ours because they are affecting all of us, even though the effects may be felt differently in different communities. I would love to feel free and welcome to safely go into any neighborhood in America at any hour, and I would guess you would too, but this is not reality, is it?  Like it or not, there is a "binary" aspect to life in America and it is not a racial divide, as I suspect you are hoping I believe so you can attack my words. It is a divide between those who want to live in and build a decent society and those who don't, between those who are predators and those who are not. When it does come to racial issues, I do indeed think that black Americans are in a very bad situation. There are few jobs for anyone and African-Americans have already experienced huge problems getting those jobs even in good times so what does that mean in bad times? Now add the virtual decimation of the so-called social safety net, the historically inadequate education system for black Americans especially (and all poor Americans in general), and the obscene divide between rich and poor that exists in the U.S. (and the world.)  I can see how the problems that plague America's communities have developed, but you must see that they hurt "minority" segments of those communities most of all. I don't know the answers to the problems; I don't think anybody does. But I know we can't keep on the same path we are on because that way is destroying everybody. Criminality is killing this country, whether it’s rich, largely white crime from Wall Street or non-rich, largely non-white crime in the streets. It’s all terrorizing us and it’s all destroying the “homeland” in a far more real and present way than what the government means by “homeland.” 

annabellissimo wrote on June 14, 2013 at 3:06 am

Just a couple more thoughts on this.  You criticise my comments for their US versus THEM points.  There IS an "us versus them", and there should be. I do not identify with anyone who thinks shooting down other people is acceptable, no matter how rough life has been for that shooter. I do not identify with anyone who thinks that what his/her neighbor has or what someone riding a bus has or someone walking down the street has should be mine because I don't have it and some other person does and I'm just going to take it. See, I think that anti-social behavior is just that: it is AGAINST society and specifically against civilized society. I grew up very poor in a very poor neighborhood in a time when lots of people were poor. We didn't know anybody who preyed upon others, who shot at others, who broke into others' houses or apartments to rob them, who ripped apart buildings and destroyed things to get at anything that could be sold. People weren't some extra-human angels, no, but there was not rampant viciousness and danger at every turn - and these were poor people. Something has changed, Mr. Curtiss, and it's not good and it is destroying society.  Some of these now very troubled communities were segregated not so long ago and African-American leaders in those communities spoke out, worked and fought for change, often citing specific neighborhoods where they had been blocked by various mechanisms of segregation. Those neighborhoods began to change and what had been 100% white inhabited now became mixed racial demographics. Whether real or perceived, the remaining whites thought the neighborhoods were deteriorating and the newer residents didn't care. "White flight" accelerated. The neighborhoods became almost 100% black demographics. The previous residents had been working poor or poorer; the newer residents were working poor or poorer; one group white, the other group black.  It wasn't long before crime became the main issue of daily life with gangs, drugs, shootings, and the rapid deterioration of the housing that had been in place for decades. What is the difference in these groups? I don't think the difference is race, but it is behavior and it is bad behavior that is killing America, whether from criminal, predatory whites or criminal, predatory blacks or any other race or ethnic group. It is anti-social, uncivilized behavior that we need to absolutely reject, full tilt. No, I am NOT like these bad people and you may call that an oversimplified view of things, but I think it is the correct view:  I am not an anti-social predator and I do not deliberately hurt any other person and I take care of what is mine to take care of, whether family or property or community and I do what I can to leave things better than I found them. I do not extol the underbelly nor do I have compassion for dangerous predators. They are doing us all harm, regardless of what got them to that place in their lives, and their behavior certainly is not making their own lives better. That old neighborhood I mentioned earlier, the one full of poor people? Many of those people had really, really hard lives but they didn't shoot or rob other people because of it.  There was a story in the news recently out of St. Louis.  A Bosnian family had come to America - St. Louis - escaping the horrors of war in their country some years back. They were poor and in pretty rough circumstances at the time. They banded together and started a little business out of their home - a little "corner store" type of place. They put everything into it and lived in the back of it. Two brothers from a horrible war starting over in St. Louis. An African-American man with a criminal record came into their little store, cased it, came back with his gun, robbed them and shot both brothers - one fatally.  No, Mr. Curtiss, I don't think he has more claim to a bad life than the Bosnian immigrants did, but their routes to better lives were worlds apart. They were working for theirs, sacrificing, being patient and building. He was taking what they had worked for and destroying. Why is that? Do you really think that any decent person should identify with that killer because he is black and has had a hard life? It is behavior that should group us, not race, and people of all "colors" who are builders and civilized need to band together and reject and isolate and stop those who would take and kill and destroy. Not race, not income, BEHAVIOR.

Lance Dixon wrote on June 09, 2013 at 3:06 am

It would be great if only the criminals had guns. The police would be able to arrest a lot of gangsters if that were the case. Though in my book anyone who wants to carry a concealed weapon is on the wrong side of moral behavior.  Even those middle aged white guys who call themselves "law abiding citizens". Did I wake up in 1958 Alabama? I can't wait for armed vigilantes patrolling our streets. I feel safer already (that's sarcasm, Illini libertarian).

EL YATIRI wrote on June 09, 2013 at 4:06 am
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Time for the chief of police to address the community.  I would like for him to hold a news conference.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on June 13, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I would like to see some of the underlying issues of poverty, unemployment, and bad drug laws be addressed. The gangs we see out in the street are part of an organized crime network. It was the prohibition of alcohol that created what became known as the mafia, and I don't see the modern gangs as being much different. 

A lot of these young people see the easy money that can be made through selling drugs and breaking the law. By comparison, you have people working low wage jobs who are unable to make ends meet. College graduates who are carrying a lot of student loan debt, and even well educated people struggling in this economy. So the old standby of getting an education as an alternative to incarceration is an argument that doesn't carry the weight that it used to. 

One of the other reasons why a lot of gang activity has moved downstate is due to the breakup of the large Chicago public housing projects. Champaign, Danville, and Rantoul are amongst some of the communities that have been impacted by the demographic shifts that have occurred as a result. Even demolishing local housing projects like the former Joanne Dorsey homes is not something that really addresses the issues of poverty and crime. 

EL YATIRI wrote on June 09, 2013 at 6:06 am
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crimreports.com is useful for mapping. The GD and BPS have been at war for years Chicago south side.  I suspect they are now battling for turf here and in Danville. If they are this is the tip of the iceberg. Both gangs have thousands of members.



sweet caroline wrote on June 09, 2013 at 9:06 am

I hope they stay out of Urbana.

lcoil79 wrote on June 09, 2013 at 9:06 am

If you think they aren't already in Urbana, particularly the East side, you're deluding yourself.  Take a trip east on Washington past Philo after 9:00 p.m. and play count the cops.  Last time I drove through there on my way to Wal-Mart at night, I counted 4 cars going one way and 5 coming back, and they weren't in the area for the jail.

sweet caroline wrote on June 09, 2013 at 9:06 am

I know they're here, but I meant to say that I hope the shootings don't start over here.  We've had shootings in the past, every once in awhile, but nothing like 4 shootings in 2 days.  That's what I meant.  Although I probably am deluding myself to hope that it doesn't start here.

787 wrote on June 09, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Did I miss comment from Police Chief Cobb somewhere in this article? 

Where is he?  On vacation?  Under his desk?

Drive by shootings.... what is this city turning into, Chicago?



rsp wrote on June 09, 2013 at 2:06 pm

He's probably busy doing his job. Should he stop so he can hold press conferences?

Marti Wilkinson wrote on June 13, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I read in another article that Cobb is out of town, and has been keeping in contact via email and telephone. Troy Daniels is the one who has taken on the leadership role and has been communicating with the media.

Mezzopris wrote on June 09, 2013 at 12:06 pm

 It's the 'wild, wild, west' here in Champaign town.

Where is Chief Cobb? I do see increased police presence, which is a good thing.

I want to know why the National Guard isn't here. Four, count them four, unless another one has occurred, shootings in two days?  We have a problem here.

Do some research on the Gangster Disciples  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangster_Disciples and read about their leader (in jail) Larry Hoover. Fascinating reading.

Then there is the Almighty Black Stone Nation which considers itself a "religious organization" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almighty_Black_P._Stone_Nation

It sickens me to think of the people in those neighborhoods that have to live in fear. I might remind you, too, that this kind of violence will spill out into other neighborhoods, for instance, mine. However, when that happens, the powers that be will be all over it.

I do think the Mayor and the Chief need to have a joint press conference and address the people of this town. Sooner rather than later.

Where are our leaders?



EL YATIRI wrote on June 09, 2013 at 1:06 pm
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I agree it is high time the chief show up and address the community about this crime wave.
Also of interest: The stones have islamic factions; these are powerful chicago gangs not to b taken lightly

rsp wrote on June 09, 2013 at 2:06 pm

These gangs are not interested in religion. They are interested in money and drugs. That means territory. That's part of why they are fighting. Little slights and rumors set things off. Raise your hands if you thought we didn't need to get the police force fully staffed. I wonder how busy the fire dept. is right now. Three kids thrown from a car in an accident. Calls day and night. 

hjw8383 wrote on June 09, 2013 at 4:06 pm

As a community I do think it's important to make our voice heard on the increased violence we've seen in Champaign in the last year or two.  Unfortunately, until Chicago low income residence quit relocating, we will continue to see an increase if we don't stop this now!  Danville is another example of seeing the horrible effects of them coming down here.  Champaign "gangs" is a paradox when comparing them to Chicago gangs.  Chicago gangs are no joke and will spare no one to get their point made.  We have to crack down immediately.  I don't even care if they add a temporary tax to fund extra police officers for awhile. 

Marty wrote on June 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Temporary tax, LOL as if one of those ever existed.

At least we will get our concealed carry soon, along with the tax that comes with it to get it. To restrictive, but better than nothing.

It's a good time to leave Champaign for a decent city in a decent state, especially if you live near "that" part of town.

Commonsenseman wrote on June 15, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Tax increases wont work and they are never "temporary" as we wil soon find out.  the mayor is too distracted by his girlfriend problems to comment here.  The police cant stop this because of the circus environment of the city council and former city manager that never supported them.  Many of the people in thse neighborhood dont like the police, but now they get gangsters and suddenly they wonder why?  heres a novel idea to the people who live in that area, stop complaining about the police.  Heres an idea for our politicians, why do we allow "these people" to move from chicago yet we dont demand the state give us more for police services to deal with them?